I think Joseph is quite a comfort to the average convent/seminary leaver. I’m not talking St. Joseph the Foster-Father of Jesus… he’s awesome, yes. But right now I’m talking about the owner of a certain Technicolour Dreamcoat.
We all recall that he was sold into slavery by his brothers who were offended that he seemed to think himself better than he really was. He was thrown into prison because he turned out to be better than the Pharoah’s wife thought he was. And if the irony of all of that wasn’t enough, throw in the fact that he was accompanied in his unjust fate by two others who deserved their punishment!
Unlike the Event for which this was a pre-figurement, where one of the thieves asked to be remembered by the Innocent One when He entered His Kingdom, in this case rather it was the innocent one who asked to be remembered:
“Only think of me when all is well with you, and please do me the great favor of mentioning me to Pharoah, to get me out of this place.” (Gen 40:14)
This request was made of the “chief cupbearer,” who promptly forgot all about Joseph when he left the prison. Joseph remained in prison for another two years.
What on earth went through Joseph’s mind and emotions over that two year period? What do you think he prayed about during that time? Did he give up hope that he would be remembered and freed? Was there some point at which he decided there was no way he was ever getting out of there, and was that belief something that sparked off the grief cycle for Joseph? Do you think He got angry at God? Perhaps he felt as though he had been forsaken? I wonder if that first little while after leaving the convent/seminary isn’t just a little bit like Joseph’s time in prison?
In the story of Joseph, we cannot help but notice that he did not return to Canaan. Yet as the adventure played out, albeit in a place other than that which Joseph had planned, it is worth remembering that God provided him with the means to put things right with his brothers, to be reunited with his father and to live a full and happy life.